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The Kudlow Report

News/Business. Larry Kudlow. Larry Kudlow provides his unique perspective on business, politics and investing. New.

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01:00:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 10, Us 10, Rick Lazio 6, Herman Cain 6, Obama 6, Benghazi 6, Keith Boykin 5, Kudlow 5, Bob Shrum 4, Iran 3, Florida 3, Roger Stone 3, Kevin Madden 3, Romney 2, Robert Costa 2, Hertz 2, Bp 2, Virginia 2, Jim Lehrer 2, Newt Gingrich 2,
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  CNBC    The Kudlow Report    News/Business. Larry Kudlow. Larry Kudlow provides his  
   unique perspective on business, politics and investing. New.  

    October 3, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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don't forget with hewlett-packard imploding, the business is going to apple. is apple a trade? no. it's an investment. and it is indeed the only tech game in town. the transports were good. don't get carried away. just for you right here on "mad money," i'm jim cramer and i will see you tomorrow! hey, larry, time for your big predebate special. it's going to be terrific. >> free enterprise versus government planning. it's the debate of the decade and it happens in just a couple of hours. good evening. i'm larry kudlow. this is a special edition of "the kudlow report." you're looking at a live picture of the university of denver. 8:00 p.m. eastern, president obama and mitt romney will face
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off in their first of three debates. we have an all star panel tonight. former congressman rick lazio and former clinton white house aide keith boykin. and herman cain tells us what it's like to debate kevin madden. it's all about leadership and leadership means taking control of the conversation. that's just my advice. in an anemic overall economy, we've seen some positives in recent days. the ism services surprised on the up side today, 15 million car sales yesterday and of course stocks have been rising since a year ago today. the s&p is up 32%.
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so things can't be all that bad. how will the investor class vote in 34 days? but first up, both mitt romney and president obama are in their respective hotel rooms now. they're making final preparations for the big debate and cnbc's own john harwood joins us live with the details. good evening, john. >> good evening, larry. two hours from that debate we've gotten a reminder in the last 24 hours with a slew of polls of how high the stakes are in this debate. we forget sometimes because we talk about how mitt romney is down in the race but he's still got a chance. only down 3 points nationally in the journal/nbc poll. in key swing points he's pulling even in florida, down 1, closer in virginia, down 2, he's still down by 8 percentage points in our poll in the state of ohio, which is a problem for this reason. look at the map of swing states. if you look at the ones where
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mitt romney is running within 4 points of president obama, places like florida, virginia, iowa, missouri where he's ahead, north carolina where he's even or ahead, you add all those to the solid states for mitt montana and the leaning states for mitt romney, he's still only at 263 electorate votes. he needs to bring ohio or other swe swing state, nevada, new hampshire. he's got an unparallel opportunity tonight to come on stage with the president of the united states and make his case, larry. >> john, the wall street journal poll and others have shown that romney has closed the gap a little pit with president obama at least nationwide and some of the swing states. to what do you attribute this closi closing? is it the benghazi problem, the middle east problem or what?
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>> i think it more about mitt romney returning to equilibrium after some of the blows that he took. democrats got a surge from their convention. romney took a big hit with that 47% video. but when you saw the surge obama had in the polls, it was a little too big, it's coming back down to earth. mitt romney is coming into range. he's got to both take obama down a notch but also make an aggressive case and to target audience, white women voters in particular. that's where he needs to make some progress. >> john harwood, thanks very much. john is going to join me and others for special coverage throughout tonight. this evening, in my view, romney needs to put obama on defense right at the beginning, take him to the cleaners, right out of the gate, no wasted time, do what john mccain did not get down four years ago.
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i hate to say that. this is a choice between tax cuts and tax hikes. you need to make that case. now i want to hear from our panelists in the kudlow caucus. former clinton white house aide, keith boykin. rick lazio, former republican congressman from new york. rick lazio, i begin with you, good evening to you. >> hello, larry. >> this is a gigantic audience, the key issue of our time is still the economy and jobs. so far mitt romney has not been able to make the sale. that's what the polls show. that's why this thing is close. why hasn't he and what's he going to do tonight differently than he's done in the past. >> i think he's going to make the contrast with president obama, why expanding the pie is in the national interest. not redistributing an ever slowing economy but expanding the pie so everybody gets a job
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that wants a job, people's salaries are rising. i think he needs to lay out the picture, paint the picture for the audience, frankly, larry, of what america would look like after four years of pro-growth policies. more kid graduating and getting jobs that they were trained to do, more people going to work with full-time jobs, fewer people bailing out of the economy, not looking anymore. home prices increasing. more people who are eligible to get mortgages and a more optimistic and confident country with revenues coming up and that death threat -- >> so he has got to make the sale. keith boykin, i love what rick lazio is saying but romney has not made the sale. you and i have talked about this a whole lot. on the other hand, your man obama, we deon't know what he would do in a second term. he has not unveiled any specific policies. will he or will he be an attack
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dog who hasn't eaten any dog food in a week? >> i think romney is going to be the one who is more aggressive tonight. i think he has a responsibility to do that because he's trailing in the polls. president obama, because he's ahead, he doesn't want to make any mistakes. but romney has the bigger challenge. he has to make an affirmative case for his presidency, not just why obama is bad, he has to fill in the blanks about which loopholes and deductions he's going to close. that 47% number hurt him so he has to show he cares and he has to distinguishes himself from george w. bush. >> that's a very key point. i'm going to revisit that point. >> and what is mitt romney's task, is it an overview, specifics on the tax front or
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does he defend himself on various gaffs? what is the key nut romney has to crack tonight? >> he has three things he has to do. he's a key debateor. the second thing is he will finally get the chance without the clutter of campaigns and attack ads to talk to the american people. this is mitt romney's chance and heap has to do the things rick was talking about. he has to say i don't care about tax reform, i don't care about energy policy, i care about the well being of mom. pull it together. >> one of the great mysteries of this campaign, here is a guy with a splend it baid backgrounn bill clinton said that. why is he unable to connect on the key issue of the day, jobs and the economy with i'm going to say the average person out there? what is missing? >> he is superbly skilled at the
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details but that's not what americans care about. so keith wants to talk about details because that's a terrible strategy. he doesn't care about the details of tax reform. americans want to know how am i going to get a job? why is it i've been in a job for three years and i haven't gotten a raise. he needs to get away from the details and -- >> hang with me. just what can we expect to hear from mitt romney in tonight's debate? who better to ask than senior campaign manager kevin madden. thank you very much for helping us. you know, my friend keith boykin asked a very good question that's going to come up tonight or is likely to come tonight and that is president obama will charge that mitt romney is four more years of george w. bush. how does romney get o from under the bush mantle? you know it's going to happen. obama is going to say tax cuts for the rich, tax hikes for the middle class, deregulation for
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all those fat cats. what's your answer going to be? >> there's only two names on the ballot and two names that voters goat choose from and that's between mitt romney and that's between barack obama and two very different visions for the country. george bush doesn't happen to be on the ballot. i think the clear choice you set out for voters on the economy is going to be apply stly summed u the question do you want another four years likes the previous four years. we haven't seen any progress on the economy, we have an unemployment that's above 8%, 23 million americans are struggling to find work. so the question voters are going to ask is do we want the status quo, the same four years that we just saw from president obama, or do we want to clart a new course for the country? i think that's one of the real opportunities that governor romney is going to seize tonight to talk to the american people
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about. >> president obama is going to accuse romney of four more years of bush and romney is going to accuse obama of four more years of obama. is that what's going to happen tonight in. >> we know this and everybody on your panel, they're all smart guy, they all know that every presidential contest is a contest for the future. and what president obama is saying is everything's fine, we should continue on the same course. governor romney happens to very clearly disagree with that. and the message that he has for these voters is that we can and will take a new course under romney and that new course will have more economic growth. >> this is an assembled intellect of awesome proportions, probably nor since thomas jefferson dined alone. >> i feel like i'm bringing down the batting average on this team. >> you never do. let me ask you this. i was very surprised yesterday to learn that mitt romney was
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talking about tax policy to a local denver, colorado station where he essentially unveiled a new program with more details. he said his 20% tax cut would only allow $17,000 worth of deductions. if you have $17,000 bucket of deductions, that's all you're going to get and by the by it may even be a small are bucket for upper income people who are going to get a big tax cut. now, let me ask you, why then? why yesterday? why this local denver station? why didn't you all come out and first of all tell me first and, second of all, why didn't you tell the rest of the world you were finally putting meat on the bones of the tax reform plan? i don't get it. >> look, let me set you state on this. first of all, governor romney has a very bold tax plan that's designed to achieve more economic growth and lower the burden on middle-class taxpayers. as part of lowering those rates across the board, he believes we have to broaden the base. he talked about this as an
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illustrative example of some of the discussions that we're going to have. you obviously cannot write a bill on a debate stage. you can't write a bill? n a campaign, but as part of the conversations that we have of achieving the types of reforms we need to have greater economic growth, more job creation that, broaden the base is part of that discussion. there a number of rang of options out there. that happened to be one that the governor talked about. >> he sure launched it. next time you all want to launch a major policy change, you might think about a national platform, mean nothing disrespect to that local station. >> 7 p.m., cnbc eastern time. >> hold that thought, madden. >> former presidential candidate herman cain faced mitt romney in the gop debate. mr. cain knows first hand what president obama is going to up against with romney. herman cain joins us next. and an estimated 60 million people could be watching tonight's presidential debate.
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the focus, economic issues. should mitt romney inject the benghazi catastrophe into this debate? as always, doesn't forget free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity and that's exactly what they're going to be debating in one hour and 45 minutes from now. i'm kudlow, we'll be right back.
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the stakes are high for mitt romney and president obama tonight. the polls show a dead heat. can romney deliver the performance that's needed to shake up this race? let's ask somebody who has actually gone up against romney on the debate stage and lives to tell the tale. joining us now is former republican presidential candidate herman cain. how was it debating romney? was he cut and slash? what's he like and what can you tell us about tonight? >> number one, governor romney will be the most prepared person on that stage.
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secondly, he will have the deepest depth of knowledge on that stage. i know that firsthand from going up against him. and here's the other thing i don't think a lot of people are expecting. his likability will come through because he has gotten a bad rap about this likability factor. but he will be the most prepared. he will also have the most depth of knowledge and he will have every opportunity to back obama into a corner on all of the major issues. >> let me ask you on that, backing him into a corner. romney had some spectacular debates, not all of them. but in florida he took newt gingrich out. newt gingrich no slouch at debating or intellect for that matter. and then later on he took out rick santorum. it's like he had a machete in his hand and he knocked these guys down. is it possible he might do the same thing about president obama who is rusty, has not had a debate and has had people fawning over him for four years?
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>> i don't think he's rusty because he spent a lot of time campaigning and what a lot of people don't see usually from the mainstream media is how he performs in his campaign stops as well as town hall meetings. i don't think you're going to see any rust on mitt romney. i'm very optimist being aboic a he's going to do tonight. >> let's go back to our distinguished kudlow caucus. you say the teleprompter has gone nuts. we don't need that. what do you expect obama to do tonight? he's going to come at romney. he's a very gifted orator. where do you think he'll start? i want rom anyway ni ney to com aggressive. will obama come out aggressive? >> no, i don't think he'll come
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out aggressive. i think he's going to be strong but i don't think he's going to come out as aggressive. one of president obama's biggest strength is likability. romney doesn't have that. obviously herman cain depend get the memo about down playing expectations. he just raised mitt romney's expectations quite a bit there in that segment there. >> rick lazio, here's something. there's a lot of tax hikes in obama care and i reckon obama care is going to come up a lot tonight unless mitt romney has completely lost his mind. by some count there's nearly $900 billion in tax hikes for obama care. wouldn't that be the middle class tax hike argument that mitt military needs in order to thrust and really come at obama? so far he has not really done that in that campaign. is it coming? >> i do think it's coming. i think he's going to focus on how obama care punishes
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middle-class families, investors, that it is coercive and that giving families the power to make those health care choices themselves is a superior way to go. i also think by the way, larry, he needs to make the case on taxes in a way people understand. he needs to say do you really think taking $1 away from apple and giving it to the federal equivalent of the dmv is a better and more productive use of that money. >> meaning the government? >> the government. hiring more bureaucrats taking many from the apples, microsoft and oracles of world that are expanding the pie, creating opportunities -- >> but he's also got to say something about spending. in many cases spending cuts are more important than tax cuts in this debate. he's going to talk spending. you know that jim lehrer, who is
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very good at this, is going to ask romney for specifics on this. what are the specifics on spending cuts? we've not heard them. >> we know where the problems are in the federal budget. medicare is responsible for a quarter of the federal debt in the last ten years. i have a plan to take action and get that under control. the president doesn't. if you look at his budget, they are a recipe for middle-class tax hikes. you cannot spend that kind of money without taxing the middle class. it's arithmetic, it's not politics. one of the things that governor romney has to do tonight is make the president own his record. his record's very unpopular. his policies are very unpopular but the president is very slippery and evasive and good at finger pointing. that's got to stop tonight. >> how can romney talk about spending cuts and medicare when president obama's $716 billion in medicare cuts, romney says we
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have to put that money back into it, he wants to add money to defense and give a $5 trillion tax cut, that's going to blow a hole in the deficit. how is he going to talk credibly about that? how is he going to talk about obama when he's the grandfather of it by sponsoring romney care? >> it's a completely different policy right now. >> hang on one second. herman cain, you're still out there. if you can hear the conversation, we don't know the specifics of the tax cut plan, we don't know the specifics of the spending cut plan, there's no question that jim lehrer, who is a smart guy, is going to ask for specifics. can you help us out? and then you've got the obama care situation. it's amazing romney hasn't said that much about obama care. why is this? >> romney is the grandfather of obama care is just a bad rap. let me tell what you i know about the spending. i'm on a tour, i'm in my 11th city and we're on a tour and i'm going to be doing a debate listening party at arizona state
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university tonight. this will be the 11th university i've been to, i've had 11 lunches with business owners. let me tell you what the people understand that i believe governor romney is going to drive home. spending is destroying this nation and i think if he stays on that message, he's going to do just fine. >> but, herman, doesn't he shav to say something about it? i have jim boykin here, smart guy, he's already challenging holtz-eakin on that. how much? where? defense? nondefense? safety net? where's it going to come from? >> i can't tell you where it's going to come from but i do believe it's going to be specific. i do know that the american people, regardless of the specifics on spending, i agree with the earlier comment that he's got to be specific on how he's going to create jobs. but relative to spending, the
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people sitting at their kitchen table, talking kitchen table economics know we cannot continue the spending, the run away spending like we've done in the last four years, $6 trillion. >> rick lazio, quickly, i want to ask you this on the way out. i have read the romney plan. i read all of it, whatever, how many pages. >> p he wants to take spending as a share of gdp down from 24% to 20%. >> which is where it was in 2007, by the way. >> in the first term, in the first four years. roughly, roughly on a cumulative basis, ilt close to $2 trillion below the growth now. in order, the growth is this and romney is going to lower the growth by nearly $2.trillion. >> now that's a great number. real fast from you, doesn't he have to give somebody, how's he
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going to get there and how's he going to do this? >> expand being the pie dramatically, which is what will happen with 12 million new jobs, more americans working, more americans paying taxes, more businesses producing more, more people to sell to but that is going to pour in money. >> it's a great supply-side answer. i'm not sure it nails the question but it's a great -- i don't know, it hard for me to understand what's going on but i'm going to do my best. up next on this show, economic sanctions against iran starting to really hurt. today listen to this, clashes and protests break out over iran's currency crashing. it could be the end of iran as we know it. what a great thought that is.
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all right. it's still the economy, even overseas. get this -- as the november election approaches, the economy remains by far the top issue on voters' minds. a recent rasmussen poll shows the economy as very important as to how they will cast their ballot. here is dave goldman and keith mcauliffe. dave goldman, we're going to have to switch this a little bit. bear with me. the new today coming out of iran is potentially very important. as you may know, their currency,
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the rial, has dropped 40% in the past week. black market currency traders and others are rioting in the streets. they had to bring in special riot police to do this. what's going on? is that country imploding over its money collapse? >> larry, i very much doubt it. the immediate effect of the shortage of foreign exchange is to concentrate power in the hands of the people who have the foreign exchange, namely the regime. no one else has the guns and money to oppose them. the immediate impact will be to convince ahmadinejad and his gang that they need to be all the more aggressive to develop nuclear weapons so they might solve their economic problems by intervening to help their shiite brothers in dubai. >> keith mcauliffe, $1 is worth
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37,500 rials. that's unbelievable. that's line argentina. if they can't get any money to do any transactions, how the heck is that country going to survive? >> exactly. and what's the money worth? that's the big question for tonight's debate as well. when you look at currency debotchery, devaluation, at the end of the day there's a tipping point where people just lose it. you've seen it hyper in flags, you've seen it in latin america multiple times and now you're seeing it in iran. this is the big issue, when people can't pay their bills, can't eat, they don't have shelter, they start to revolt. that's got to be a big issue to turn the table into tonight that mitt romney has to deliver because this has been debotched for years. >> iran is a would you knnded b
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not a dead one yet. the best scenario in the world would be an internal revolution but i think the more likely short-term outcome is a more aggressive and more dangerous iran. clearly the oil market thought this was good news because oil dropped by more than $4. >> we're going to leave it there. gentlemen, sorry for the truncated tonight. >> more than two weeks after the deadly attack on our consulate in benghazi, the fbi are not there. but reportedly documents are left around unsecured. this is also an incredible story. >> it indeed is, larry. a "washington post" reporter visited the wounded consulate today and found no presence of security. the post found sensitive official documents scattered on
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the floors, including evacuation plans in case of attack, ambassador stevens' schedule and the names of libyan nationals working for the consulate, all lying in the open unsecured. the investigators have remained in tripoli hundreds of miles away from benghazi because of safety concerns and libyan contractors say they have not been contracted by the libyan or american governments. the post reports the only security at the compound is two private guards paid for by the landlord. larry, back to you. >> wow, great stuff. i turn back to the kudlow caucus for a quick whip around on this subject. is the benghazi couatastrophe going to become a big issue in this campaign? >> i think it dents president obama's reputation as an international leader. i think ambassador rice got it
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completely wrong trying to cover up perhaps what really happened here and trying to blame it on a video that we now know is clearly not the reason why they had this -- >> you know, this thing is not redounding to the president's credit. he calls it a bump in the road. a very well liked ambassador is killed and dragged through the streets and then susan rice goes on tv and says something that at best is a falsehood, at worst is a lie. how badly is this going to damage president obama? >> i think it mike, as rick suggested, have an impact as the way people perceive his ability as a national security. people will remember that he took out osama bin laden. this is not going to be a big
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ish in the debate tonight because it domestic policy issues. with the threat of terrorism, i think that's something that can open up an opportunity for mitt romney to try to take advantage of that. >> doug holtz-eakin, if you were mitt romney works you make benghazi something of an issue tonight? i don't mean filibustering and going through anything but as a matter of leadership, you have economic leadership, fiscal leadership, america losing its credit rating leadership, now you have the benghazi thing. does romney do it tonight? >> i think it can come up but it can't come up as a gratuitous topic out of nowhere. the president offered the promise of a more transparent administration as one of the things he ran on. this didn't look terribly transparent. it falls on the heels of other
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non-transparent -- >> you're saying whatever happens tonight the issue goes on and the president's got to deal with in. >> yeah. this is a national security issue that has to be dealt with, regardless of who is president. >> now, debate coverage continues at 8:00 and goes right through till the end. keith boykin is going to be back joining the expert analysis crew after the debate, oh, my goodness, tonight's debate between president obama and mitt romney could help some decide who they're going to vote for in the election. but cnbc's jane wells discovered the debate may change the national mood in another way. good evening, jane. >> hi, larry. yes, some of us will be watching to figure out who to vote for and some of us will be watching to figure out when to drink. let me be clear we will have the official cnbc debate drinking game after the break. ♪
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you're looking at a live picture from the university of denver, the site of the first debate between president obama and mitt romney. debate begins in one hour, 20 minutes from now, debate
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insiders say the first ten minutes are the key tonight. after all, you only get one chance to make a first impression. so it's crucial that governor romney establish himself as the man on the same stage with the man himself, president obama. so with all that in mind, our own jane wells joins us now with another important reason why the 10 to 30 minutes at the beginning are so crucial. jane, what you got cooked up? >> well, my goodness, i hope we last that long with a what i'm about to talk about. we always hope the candidates say certainly new in these debates but if they say the same old same old, the only solution is a drinking game. here's ours. first, drink whenever you hear the president say the following words of phrases, even when he's quoting his opponent. >> for the middle class. every millionaire and billionaire in the country. >> so that everybody's paying their fair share.
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>> 47% of the people will vote for the president no matter what. >> obama bid laden. >> so let me be clear. >> let me be clear. let me be clear. >> all right. let me be clear. drink responsibly. next, what should we look for from governor romney? >> entrepreneurship and innovation. >> that includes obama care. >> he said the private sector is doing fine. >> in my heart. >> if you got a business, you didn't build that. >> okay. and if they both say the same word, that's extra. here is the one i'm watching for. >> $1 trillion worth of tax cuts. >> over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year.
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>> okay. finally, suggestions from twitter. drink any time you feel like you're underemployed. >> every time obama blames bush, everybody drinks. kool-aid may be involved. and every time you hear larry say "supply sider," you have to wait six year for your shot to trickle into its glass. >> wait a minute, i've only said it once tonight. >> we'll only have to wait six years to be able to drink it. >> i'll have a diet coke. jane wells, you got to love it. we go ringside with romney to find out what his debate strategy is going to be tonight. that's next up on the kudlow report. stay with us.
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welcome back to the special edition of "the kudlow report." let gus ringside with romney. no journalist has gotten more inside the romney camp than cnbc contributor robert costa. will romney keep his cool or
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lose his temper. and roger stone is a romney doubter. bob costa, let me begin with you, buddy. president obama before this night is over is going to call him bush, he's going to talk about the 47%, he's going to talk about bain capital. it could get ugly. will mitt romney hold his cool and keep his temper in check? >> well, larry, i've been hanging out with romney world all day. romney's goal is two-fold. heap needs to be aggressive on policy but stay presidential and be likable. >> if mitt military comes out aggressive and i hope he does, i want him to take charge of this debate from the get-go, will he do it -- will he still be the gentleman mitt or are we going to see something that we haven't seen before that was cooked up by all the brilliant guys in his campaign is. >> he wants to be gentleman mitt to an extent.
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he does not want to get bogged down on distractions. if obama starts to bring up bain capital and tax returns, romney wants to stay on the big themes of the economy. >> supposed obama comes after romney on bain capital, romney is going to counter and say you know, what sir week do build our own businesses, entrepreneurs do that. the question is how tough -- how into it will romney be? how into it and emotional will romney get? >> here's a little inside baseball, larry. romney's been prepping for this debate for a month up in rural vermont doing a lot of prep sessions. he can't get flustered but he has to be tough, he has to seem presidential and bring the message of obama's failures right to obama face to face. >> rod stone, you are a romney doubter. tell us why. >> i don't think he's a real conservative. frankly, i'm disappointed. i saw kevin madden in your first
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segment. governor gary johnson should have been included in this debate. romney can't be a brawler. he's got to come out strong but he can't be shrill or nasty or too caustic. >> he got to show he can stand up and be a leader of the united states. >> in all honesty, there's a stature question here. obama is outpointing this guy overwhelmingly on likability and likability factor is very strong. it's one of the keefe reasons why ronald reagan won his debate with jimmy carter. >> robert costa, is romney going to say "there he goes again" or any lines like that? >> i think he has some zingers ready to go. but roger stone brings up a good
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point. he's not just going to be a brawler. look for romney tonight to talk directly to women to try to close that gender gap. >> what do you want romney to say that would bring you, you are a veteran, you were a reagan guy for heavens sakes, you're a supply guy, a growth guide. what do you want to hear from romney to convince you? >> i'd like him to talk about his tax plan. and spending is a dominant issue. be specific. governor johnson and ron paul said they'd cut spending by $1.4 billion to balance the budget. >> can you be specific? >> i at this you have to. people don't want platitudes. they want to know what you want to do. >> i'll tell you one this evening about specificity. reagan used numbers, he wasn't afraid to use numbers and i think the romney has do do that. >> robert costa, thank you, buddy. roger stone, as always, thank
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you. why mitt romney has the advantage in tonight's presidential debates as challengers often do. bob shrum and dick armey will square off next up on kudlow. what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ...nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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welcome back to "the kudlow report." so mitt romney's body man tweeted this photo of the candidate and ann romney going to the debate site. the two holding hands. you got to love that. now, remember when president
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obama himself said he'd be held accountable for not fixing the economy in this first term? remember that? >> we're starting to make some progress but there's still going to be some pain out there. if i don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition. >> others say the advantage tonight is going to lie with the challenger when it comes to this political debate, in this case an election about the economy that might be very true. here now robert shrum and dick armey. bob shrum, we talked a lot about mitt romney and what we know and what we don't know but i don't know anything about what president obama would do in a second term. he says he wants more four years. four more years for, what bob shrum? i can't figure it out. >> i think you'll find out a lot about it tonight. i think he's sent a whole raft
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of bills on jobs and infrastructure. if you want it look at this debate analytically tonight, i think romney has a real chance to win this. historically the patterns would suggest he should win it. if he's prepared as hard as people are saying and if he sticks to the skrikt because he can't be trusted to be spontaneous, then i think there's a chance he wins. >> should mitt romney hold president obama accountable that if he couldn't solve the economy in a year or so that he shouldn't get a second term in. >> i think mitt romney has to hold him accountable. certainly the press doesn't hold him accountable.
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he gets away at throwing platitudes back at soft balls and the press indulge him that way. mitt romney if he comes out and he's assertive and matter of fact. if, for example, he says give me five investments that bain capital made and i'll show you five failures like solyndra made by this president. the difference is we were working on behalf of our stockholders, the president was serving up some kind of a romantic ideology without any background or analytical experience. this president has been such an abject failure on so many front, that if anybody holds him accountable to any degree, he'll fall apart. >> bob shrum, do you have a response to that? >> sure. romney is not going to go out there and talk about slolyndra because the fact is that's not what's happening in the
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election. the election has gone from being a referendum to being a choice. romney has tests to meet tonight, not only the test of likability that you were talking about earlierer but he's got to persuade people and cares about their problems. >> don't you think romney should hold obama accountable for solyndra and other scandals or mini scandals that occurred with this clean energy, just as the president said he would cut the budget deficit in half and we've had four years of trillion dollar budget deficits. these are promises and he's got to be held accountable for that. >> i hope mitt romney is listening to this and takes your advice. a debate of 90 minutes is a precious commodity and i'm saying that from romney's perspective, there are other issues that have a much better chance to move him forward than
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talking about solyndra. >> i got to leave it there, gentlemen. i know, did -- please stay with cnbc for tonight's coverage. i'm larry kudlow. thanks for watching. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags, a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. which can withstand over three and a half tons. and every day since, two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. we've worked hard to keep it.
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